Saturday, 5 September 2009

Walking @ Kathmandu

Emily (Korean American volunteer ) and I decided that we will take a walk to see the Royal Palace, at the sametime, take in the Durbur Square, a popular local Hindu holy place on the way.
We set out@ 9 am and got back @ 3pm.We must have walked a round trip10-12 kms today . With the sun beating down on our way back, we were wilting fast .Emily was plying me with ice lolly to keep me going

We spent 80 percent of the time walking. At 1pm, we decided enough is enough that we needed rescuing from ourselves. We were in the ' West End' of town, therefore we were able to find a rather posh tourist cafe cum snack bar. We had a very delicious meal of chicken noodles, cheese and chicken puff plus drinks. It was quite an expensive meal by all accounts. The bill came to 290NR , a princely sum of approximately two pounds fifty to you and I. And it is air conditioned as well.

While we were out, we walked to the Nepal Children Organisation, the orphanage where I'll be working from tomorrow onwards. The idea is to see how walkable it is after I finish there each day.It is about 5/6 kms away from Uma's house. Uma agrees with me that I will need to get a taxi there each morning @9.30.The walk itself will take up to hour and a half. Depending on how I feel after I finish my shift, I can either walk all the way back or walk half way before getting a taxi home.It feels like a long way when we were walking this morning. However it seems quite a short journey on the way back . So I shall reserve judgement and see what happens tomorrow. Uma thought it is a good idea not to kill myself while working at the orphanage.Therefore I will only work 5 days a week, and finish each day @2-3pm depending on the needs of the children. I totally agree with her on that

Uma and I will be there for 10 am tomorrow to meet with the director. We will probably touch on things which they need for the orphanage and agree on ways of purchasing them .I have asked Uma to explain to the orphanage how we have done it in the previous tear. And that I am not going to just hand over the donation to them to do whatever. I feel slightly apprehensive. Its because I will be dealing with a big organisation (hopefully not too bureaucratic ) and not a personal one like Uma's where I have built up a good working relationship. I am entering uncharted water with this organisation . I am less clear about the values of this big institute. Anyhow, I shall find out during the course of next 3 weeks or so

During our walkabout, we met a very friendly police superintendent.It started when he said his daughter would like to know whether we are Japanese? or Chinese? We told him that we are Chinese and Korean. The daughter then smiled and said ' Nihao' -its hello in Chinese Once she said it, typically of children, she rode away quickly because she felt bashful. She was so sweet The Nepali are such warm and friendly people.It was lovely to experience that

The police superintendent was off duty in his mufti. He was escorting his young daughter (?8-9 years old) learning to cycle on the main road. She looked really precarious trying to ride and balance herself on the road when all the big lorries and cars were whizzing her by. The father is walking on the outside of her , trying to protect her from the traffic . Consequently, he was almost nearing the middle of the road ! Whether he thinks he is immuned to being run over because he is the police superintendent there, I have no idea. But the whole thing seems fool hardy to me.

In between his dodging the traffic and encouraging his daughter to ride, he was telling us that he was in Bath in Uk for a conference recently.The family was on holiday in China not long ago. That's why the daughter knows the common greetings etc All the while, Emily and I were sticking to walking on the broken pavement strewn with sleeping dogs and piles of rotting rubbish and vegetation. It felt like an obstacle course but with no risk of run over by cars.

Alas,I missed the opportunity of claiming to know some VIPs in Nepal when I forgot to ask for his name and contact address. I would think that its very handy to have useful contacts like a police superintendent in this part of the world should one need help ..... . Oh well I missed my chance there. All the same, he was very kind to walk us to the orphanage to make sure we didn't lose our way

All in all , a very good but tiring day. But my poor feet or rather toes..........


Tee said...

wow! that's alot of walking! Uma has a point ... u don't want to overwalk too soon in your stay! ;)


Siau Qwei said...

Well, it was unplanned. We didn't have any idea how far it was till we get there, haha